304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
How Often Do Sheep Have Twins?
How common are triplets in sheep? The frequency of litters of 3 or more lambs was 43.2%; 56.0% of lambs were born in litters of 3 or more lambs.
How far apart can twin lambs be born? This scenario is not uncommon in multiple births especially with later born lambs. In ewes with multiple litters the interval between birth of the lambs varies from 10 to 60 minutes; intervention should be considered if the interval is more than one hour.
Can twin sheep have babies? If a ewe is lambing for the first time, she is likely to produce only one lamb at a time. Subsequent pregnancies often result in twin lambs, though some breeds may produce more than two lambs per gestation.
The ram may breed his daughters and dam. Undersized ewe lambs may be bred. Because the times of breeding and lambing will not be not known, it will be difficult to properly time vaccinations, supplemental feeding, and other management practices.
Sheep farmers derive their income from the sales of lambs and wool and related products. Though it varies by state and farm, most income comes from the sale of lambs. Dairy sheep farmers have three sources of income: lambs, wool, and milk (or dairy products).
Studies have shown that ewes are capable of rearing three lambs if suitably fed. However, if this is to be successful ewes need to be in a good Body Condition Score and lambs ideally need to be evenly sized. These ewes will need to be offered concentrate for 4 – 6 weeks post lambing along with high quality grazing.
Yes your ewe could have a live lamb weeks later but as George says if one was affected the other would likely be too. Take a temperature, if she is running a fever you may have a dead fetus inside the ewe.
Ewe lambing signs
The udder becomes engorged, swollen and slightly red. Ewe lambing signs also include the vulva stretching out and becomes red and swollen. Often, an ewe will miss a feeding or separate herself from the flock shortly before labor begins.
Feed your ewes well
Feeding a little extra energy – such as grain – two weeks before breeding is called flushing. Flushing will increase the ewes chance of having twins because her nutritional needs will be met and she will have that little extra energy she can put into growing lambs.
Since ewes are pregnant for five months and nurse lambs for only about three months, they can be considered idle four months of the year. It is possible to lamb ewes every eight months (in some cases, every six months).
In some cases ewes are not mated till 30 months of age and do not have their first lamb until they are three years old. This has little to recommend it because ewes are carried through to older, less productive ages and costs are higher per animal.
It is best to put all rams and wethers together at the same time after sheep breeding season to save yourself having to do several small groupings and reintroductions, and to prevent deaths.
Gender & status – Ewe and wether lambs produce good quality meat. Ram lambs will also produce tender meat but abnormal flavours may occur around 30 weeks of age (16) so for quality, rams lambs should be less than 5-6 months old.
The Katahdin, St. Croix, Barbados and Dorper are the most popular breeds of hair sheep raised for meat. The Katahdin is a hardy, easy-lambing animal that produces a quality carcass. The Dorper, though a bit fattier if not processed early, is also a good meat breed choice.
Ewes generally reach sexual maturity at six to eight months of age, and rams generally at four to six (ram lambs have occasionally been known to impregnate their mothers at two months). Sheep are seasonally polyoestrus animals. Ewes enter into oestrus cycles about every 17 days, which last for approximately 30 hours.
Small-acreage farms can provide suitable space for profitably raising sheep. Profitability can be challenging, but with productive sheep and close control of expenses, a profit is possible. Sheep produce income from the sale of meat, wool and milk. Most sheep are sheared once per year to produce wool.
You can reasonably expect to keep six to ten sheep on an acre of grass and as much as 100 sheep on 30 acres of pasture. If you want to keep more than an acre can sustain, you’ll have to look into purchasing additional land as you’ll likely need to rotate your flock to keep them fed.
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest age recorded for a sheep so far was 28 years and 51 weeks. The crossbred sheep was kept at Taliesin, near Aberystwyth in Wales. The sheep gave birth to a healthy lamb in 1988 at the age of 28, after lambing successfully more than 40 times.
The lambs will stay with their mother until they are about 5 months old. At 6 months, they are considered fully grown.
A lamb thrives best when fed little and often – three to four times a day during the first few weeks of life.
Lambs are born around 145 days (or about 4.5 months) after the ewe falls pregnant. Lambing can start as early as December and go on to as late as June. Specialist breeds will lamb all year round, satisfying demand for the Christmas and Easter trade.
Most ewes lamb during daylight hours, but management will affect when peaks occur.
According to Paul Rodgers, director of producer services for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), the conventional approach of adding 20 to 100 ewes to a farm operation can be profitable. Other approaches require careful marketing and would be more difficult and risky.
Pregnant women who come into close contact with sheep during lambing or other farm animals that are giving birth may risk their own health, and that of their unborn child, from infections that such animals can carry.